Chico is Missing! Breakout developed from the book, Monkey with a Tool Belt, by Chris Monroe. The story naturally lends itself to the educational problem solving activity. Chico is the main character of the book and is trapped by an organ grinder. He uses his tool-belt to breakout of the box and find his way back home. The breakout activity focuses on Chico getting trapped in a toolbox in the MakerStudio but without his tool-belt. He has made a mess with the tools and slipped causing him to fall into the tool box. The intro sets the stage for the scenario. Granted, the music is a little much but we discussed how music creates different setting and elicits emotions. Mystery was the goal? (See the intro video)
Classes had approximately 25 minutes to break Chico out of the box. For our first time and being the beginning of the year, I would say we were successful. The students worked through several activities.
Students watched the intro video. The video ends with a QR code that is scanned and takes the students to the first problem to solve.
A jigsaw puzzle was created using an image from the book. Students solved the puzzle to find the color code clue. This clue was then used in the breakout EDU “Locks App” and linked to the first clue to find in the room.
Students were to find (we need the clue picture) the room number (131) represented by dots. The first set of keys were place under the giant dice that represented 1: 3 :1. Under the dice the students found the first set of keys and a clue to the key lock box. Students had to remember what Chico slipped on (tools) and find the word in the MakerStudio.
Step 4. A book titled, TOOLS, was sitting next to the box with the key lock. Inside the box students found their next clue. Several cards were in the box along with flashlights. Students used the flashlight (tool) to scan the cards for an invisible word to be revealed. The word to breakout Chico was tools.
Step 5. Students went to the toolbox with the word lock on it and entered the word tools. Chico was OUT!
Involving students in literature and engaged activities makes the learning purposeful and meaningful. The relevance of the tools as an intro to the MakerStudio will continue throughout the school year. We use tools for everything. The literature connection has been instrumental in problem solving, critical thinking, and mathematical reasoning as well as a new school-wide positive reinforcement discipline model (more in a future post).